Monday, June 02, 2014

The Immediate Effect of CRM System Change On Staff

Changed Priorities Ahead sign 
Recently on LinkedIn, there was a question which asked: "Does anyone have any indicators that would give me a steer in terms of what would be normal to expect when you bring in a new [CRM] system which changes the way people work?" I loved this question as it is so insightful and recognises that clearly this is going to be one of the key impacts and factors in the success or otherwise of the new system. I gave an answer online at the time, but here are my extended thoughts:
  • You should expect more calls to your help desk in the short-term. Users will inevitably need to ask how to do things, even if they have had good training. As well as comprehensive and appropriate training, floor-walking during the initial days of go-live can also help.
  • There will be more pressure on your Database Team (or equivalent) in the short-term. There is bound to be so much going on that your poor database team will probably have (or feel they have) twice as much to do now with this wonderful new system than they ever did before. Some of that might be true! Hopefully it will calm down as everyone learns the new system and its capabilities, but in some instances it might well be that there is more work for the database team even as the new system progresses.
  • It is quite possible to see a drop in productivity in the first instance for some areas such as batch donation processing - this might sound awful and ultimately you of course want it to go the other way, but there's no getting away from the issue that some people might find a new system slower to use at first.
  • No matter how much you've tested and re-tested, something will go wrong! And no matter how much you did some great business analysis to get the users' requirements, something may have been forgotten! I say this as a (mostly) serious point because I think it's a good thing to warn users in advance (i.e. during implementation) that this might be the case…
  • Some people may not have the functionality they used to have with the legacy system and they especially need careful managing. i.e. there may well be people who actually do lose something they used to have perfectly with the old system. Work with them closely to make the transition as painless as it can be.
  • Some processes may not be optimised yet. Not a problem, they can be optimised over the coming weeks - but be aware, don't think every process will immediately be better and be open to reviewing such processes and even having to re-consider if/how some should be managed differently.
  • If you do have any areas with many more problems than you expected, encourage users to always report everything to the help desk/database team as appropriate. If they don't then it won't get fixed. I know this sounds obvious but some staff might not bother and either just not use function x or start to find workarounds. And then you're right back to where you started…
  • BUT there will hopefully be good things too! Some users will (hopefully) love the new system, so they are great people to use as advocates for some quick-win stories for everyone else. Getting reports, information & insight that you couldn't get before is great.
Oh - and somebody, somewhere is going to say, "I don't know why we had to get rid of the old system…"

No comments: